Ed: Pure PlayStation’s Kyle Durant breathes PlayStation, yet he couldn’t resist the allure of the green side for one particular game exclusive to Microsoft’s brand: Alan Wake. What follows next are the ramblings of a PlayStation nut having an existential crisis. Enjoy…
One thing people always ask me when they find out I’m a gamer is, “What games do you like to play?” Then they find out I’m invested in the PlayStation brand and its eco-system. The next question usually revolves around my likeness to other platform games or if I straight out have an Xbox, too. Sorry, Nintendo, I don’t know why your name isn’t brought up most of the time but don’t worry, Smash Bros. will always be my favorite title of yours. Anyway, I tell them that I was never much into the Xbox but there was one exclusive video game that piqued my interest. It wasn’t Halo, Forza, Gears of War, or even Mass Effect when the first entry was an exclusive. The only Xbox game that made me go out, purchase it, bring it over to my cousin’s house, and play it was Alan Wake. I didn’t even own a damn Xbox yet I still paid top-dollar for one of its games.
You’re probably wondering where this is coming from considering much bigger things are happening in the gaming industry. Well, Alan Wake developer, Remedy Entertainment, recently teased a new project of theirs and people were hoping it was a sequel to the aforementioned title. Let’s just say it wasn’t anything close to it and move on. Still it got me thinking about the most underappreciated title and how it will be (most likely) the only Xbox game I purchase. [Ed: You need to get on Forza Horizon 3, mate. Just do it.]
Although it did sell close to five million copies so there has to be some interest in a follow-up. Point being, if Alan Wake brought a PlayStation gamer across the dreaded waters of the other side (obvious sarcasm) then there must be something to really enjoy.
Alan Wake was a psychological thriller/horror, action game that featured the eponymous writer moving to the country with his wife to cure his writer’s block. Naturally crap goes south and humanoid monsters appear and start hunting down poor Alan. The best part is that there’s no one man army action here. You have to use a flashlight on the creatures to dispel them and keep it lit – lit with light, not par-taaaay lit. So if you don’t have any batteries you’ll be running through the forest faster than Ubisoft censoring private parts in its games. It really contributed to the fear and the unknown the story provided. There were twists and turns that would have made Stephen King hot around the collar, not to mention the pure sense of despair. Friends turned into enemies and unknown variables turned into allies. Don’t even get me started on Alan Wake’s doppelganger. Then there’s the whole possible plot thread of our main character writing these evils to life. The possibilities here just scream classic thriller literature.
This similarity between master-crafted literary work is what the advertisements for the title promised and I was sold. Probably because I am also a big reader (Dan Simmons and D.J. Machale are some of my favorites) and actually enjoy skimming words past my eyeballs. Like a movie in your head that is fueled by your imagination, for those who aren’t familiar with books… Alan Wake drew me in because it wasn’t about a cliché space war or over masculine men shooting things to death (‘Murica) but instead a genuine, down to earth mystery wrapped in horror. Something relatively new to the gaming industry at a time where zombie games and war shooters by the dozen. Again, Alan Wake delivered on everything it promised and offered even more. Although I have to say that the ending being “finished” in DLC was more than a little annoying. Then again, the story as whole wasn’t truly wrapped-up, so you can see why people are still on their knees, begging for a sequel.
For those wondering if I got Remedy’s other creation Quantum Break, sadly I did not. Either the advertising wasn’t clear or the pre-release footage wasn’t decent enough to showcase the title. It just looked like a cliché time travel movie that offered nothing new to any entertainment form. Even though the reviews for which were incredibly mixed, that is just my opinion and in no way fact. [Ed: QB is cracking, go and get an Xbox you tool!] The end result can be summed up into two points: Alan Wake was interesting enough to sway one side of the console war (again sarcasm, we’re all gamers here) to the other and secondly, support video games that are more than zombies or warfare shooters.
Don’t let the fact that my cousin now owns the disc make you think my love affair with Mr Wake is over. After all once I was done with it, it wouldn’t make much sense to keep it myself since I didn’t have the console right? Sharing is caring. I was a little saddened to learn that Alan Wake didn’t perform as well as it was expected to and that a true sequel wasn’t given the green light. It was such a good mystery with horror and thriller elements that I would gladly buy the hypothetical tie-along novel to further support the game. Next on my list to enjoy would have been Sunset Overdrive , though I’m still an Xbox-less man. Suppose I’ll save that one for the next article… [Ed: Me again, hi. GO AND GET AN XBOX. Sunset Overdrive is bonkers!!]